Mary Anne Carter (2019-21)

Portrait of white woman with long blonde hair.

Mary Anne Carter. Photo courtesy of National Endowment for the Arts

Mary Anne Carter was confirmed as the 12th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts on August 1, 2019, receiving unanimous consent from the U.S. Senate. Carter served as acting chairman of the Arts Endowment beginning on June 5, 2018 and following 18 months as the agency’s senior deputy chairman.

Carter pushed to make the National Endowment for the Arts more accessible to the American people, directing an expansion of Creative Forces (an arts therapy program for U.S. service members and veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and other psychological health conditions) and bolstering many of its national initiatives, including Shakespeare in American Communities, NEA Big Read, and Poetry Out Loud.

To further expand the reach of the Arts Endowment, Carter held several public meetings of the National Council on the Arts at locations outside the agency’s offices. These include a June 2018 meeting in Charleston, West Virginia—the first such meeting outside of Washington, DC in 27 years—and in June 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

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